Recipe: Lemon N'Ginger's General Tso's chicken

For Harford Magazine
Here's the recipe for Lemon N'Ginger Asian Grille's most popular dish.

At Lemon N’Ginger Asian Grille, chef and owner Paul Jiang’s beautiful Asian dishes have been a Harford County favorite since the restaurant’s opening in 2013. The menu spans the Asian continent, including dishes from China, Japan and Thailand, but the most popular is a Chinese-American staple: General Tso’s chicken.

Jiang’s recipe for General Tso’s is straightforward and quick to replicate, making it easy for cooks to recreate the crunchy chicken and sweet-and-spicy sauce at home — fortune cookies not included.

General Tso’s Chicken
Makes 1 serving

For the chicken:

½ pound dark chicken meat
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
Pinch meat tenderizer
1 egg
¼ cup water
1 cup cornstarch
5 ½ cups oil, divided

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 ½ tablespoons hoisin sauce
½ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon pineapple juice
Pinch of white pepper
¼ cup water

To combine:

1 teaspoon oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped, white part only
1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
Whole chili peppers, to taste
Sesame oil

To fry the chicken:

1. Cut the chicken into large chunks.
2. Mix the chicken with salt, white pepper, meat tenderizer, egg and ½ cup of water. Mix well and let sit for 20 minutes.
3. Add 1 cup cornstarch and mix well.
4. Add ½ cup oil and mix well until chicken is evenly coated.
5. In a deep pot, heat 5 cups of oil until it reaches 350 degrees.
6. Working in batches and being careful not to crowd the pot, deep-fry individual chunks of chicken until they are crispy on the outside, about 5 minutes.
7. Set on a rack to drain.

To make the sauce:

1. Mix oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, white pepper and ¼ cup water.
2. Set aside.

To combine:

1. Heat a wok to medium heat and add oil.
2. Add chopped scallion and garlic. Cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add sauce mixture and bring to a boil.
4. Add cornstarch and water mixture. Cook, stirring until a thick consistency develops.
5. Add chili peppers.
6. Stir in chicken and mix evenly.
7. Mix in a few drops of sesame oil.
8. Garnish with steamed broccoli and serve with steamed rice. 

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Lemon N'Ginger Asian Grille

3491 Merchant Blvd., Abingdon
410-569-6688
lemonnginger.com

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